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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

The Reverend Ciarán Kavanagh ordained to the diaconate (Ordained Local Ministry)


Ciarán Kavanagh from Wexford town was ordained a deacon for the Church of Ireland’s Ordained Local Ministry (OLM) in St Iberius Church, Wexford on Sunday evening, September 12th.

He was ordained by the Right Reverend Michael Burrows, Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory.

A Diocesan Reader since 2005 Ciarán is the fifth trainee of the new Church of Ireland Ordained Local Ministry (OLM) training course to reach this stage of qualification in this diocese.

Ciarán did his in-parish pre-diaconate training with the Rector, Canon Arthur Minion, over the past year and will now continue his training for priesthood there.

Bishop Michael Burrows, leading the service, said he was particularly conscious of all those who would love to be present on this special occasion but couldn’t be, because ‘of the situation we find ourselves in related to COVID-19 where numbers are limited.’

Ciarán, he said: “brings to ministry as a deacon in Wexford not only great knowledge of the locality but also rich experience ranging from the defence forces to the world of education. He will contribute greatly to the church’s service of the community in which it is set and to its worshipping life. We are delighted that he has pursued a call to ordained ministry and the service on Sunday night was very special for him, his family and for us all.”

The preacher at the service, Canon Arthur Minion, focussing on the word ‘service’, spoke of how Ciaran is no stranger to this concept.

“He served in the Irish Army, including overseas, to the appointment of Commandant,” he said, “and from there qualified to serve as a national school teacher and is currently serving as Chair to St Iberius’ National School Board of Management.”

The Rector also spoke of change and of how a team ministry will develop in Wexford in the future.

Ciarán was presented for ordination by his sponsors, his wife Berna Rackard and Wexford and Kilscoran churchwardens Ian Prescott and Francoise Davison. Francoise, on behalf of the Church of Ireland congregation, congratulated him on his ordination and welcomed him as deacon.

Ordained Local Ministry is a collaborative one and involves working voluntarily. Training encompasses a blended form of lectures, tutorials, workshops, on-line learning and self-study.  While OLMs serve in their own parishes and local areas after they are ordained firstly to the diaconate and then usually to the priesthood (after further study), they will be supervised during their ministry by a rector or archdeacon in charge of a much wider area.

For the ceremony Ciarán chose his favourite hymns, one commonly called ‘Bread of Heaven’ as a Eucharistic hymn and one Irish hymn ‘Treoraig me a Thiarna’ which he loves for its sincerity.

“The final hymn was ‘Brother and Sister let me serve you’ which is a prayer that is very special to me,” he says.

“I look forward to the road ahead and with God’s Blessing I can do His Will,” he said also.

The organist was Dr Jeffrey Cox and a small choir contributed several pieces including the Hymn of Invocation ‘O thou who camest from above’.